Urban League Of The Upstate To Honor Mary L. ThomasAug 14, 2018 04:16PM ● By Kathleen Maris
Urban League of the Upstate, an affiliate of the National Urban League, announced that it will honor Ms. Mary L. Thomas, chief operating officer of The Spartanburg County Foundation, as the 2018 Whitney M. Young, Jr. Humanitarian Award recipient on Thursday, October 11, 2018 at the Marriott Hotel in Spartanburg, SC. This event, which is held annually in both Greenville and Spartanburg Counties, recognizes significant community involvement and civic achievement. The evening will begin at 6:00 pm with a reception followed by dinner and award presentation. Tickets are $75.00 each, and tables of ten are $1,500+.
Thomas serves as the chief operating officer of The Spartanburg County Foundation and is known as an innovative leader and strategic thinker. She is a professional, seasoned, well connected, and highly respected nonprofit executive in the nonprofit sector and philanthropic industry. Prior to joining the Foundation in 1998, Thomas was the executive director of the Bethlehem Community Center, an inner city ministry that serves women and children in Spartanburg. In 2006, Thomas was the first African American to receive the prestigious Robert W. Scrivner Award for Creative Grantmaking from the Council on Foundations for her creativity in pioneering the Strengthening Voices, an initiative that sought to build capacity to improve Spartanburg’s families.
Thomas is a graduate of Winthrop University and holds a bachelor's degree in French and communications. She was an exchange student to France through Lenoir-Rhyne College in 1983 and is a former French teacher in Spartanburg District 7 schools. Thomas is an active leader in the Spartanburg Community and beyond. She has held extensive leadership roles with a host of organizations. Currently, she serves on the Apella Board of the Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System, Converse College Board of Visitors, the Northside Development Group Board of Directors, and the BMW Community Advisory Panel. She is past chair of the SC Grantmakers and a former member of The Southeastern Council of Foundations. Thomas was ordained as a minister in 1986 by the Rocky River Baptist Association and is the second female to have that distinction in the association. She is a member of Cornerstone Baptist Church, where she serves as an elder and ministry advisor. Thomas is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta, Inc. and enjoys traveling cooking, spending her time with family, and utilizing her experience and knowledge as a mentor/coach to young people and others.